Learning through Life

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Hampshire, United Kingdom
I love how our day-to-day life can teach us lessons to help us understand our past, challenge our today, and inspire our future. We can learn through experiences, situations, conversations, songs, books, nature ... the list is endless! Live with eyes ready to see, ears ready to hear and a heart ready to be touched.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

The one with the flat tyre

After the morning school run I sat quietly in Costa (yes, sorry Starbucks but if you had a store in Chineham I would be there!) enjoying a much needed cup of tea.  As I sipped, I flicked through the first few chapters of Jeff Lucas' book - 'How not to pray'.  On the whole I don't find writers funny - but Lucas is an exception.  I already have 'Lucas on life' and despite having read it several times, I still laugh out loud as I imagine myself in some of the situations about which he so humourously writes.  With great wit and a brutal honesty he explores the Christian life in such a way that encourages you to laugh and learn!  If you have yet to experience Lucas' writings - you are missing out.  Seriously - go to  Amazon and order one of his books.  Treat yourself to an early Christmas present.

Anyhow - enough of the advertising!

Back to Costa, with my tea and book ...

In the first few chapters Lucas looks at prayer - and admits that despite being a Christian and knowing Jesus loves him, he doesn't actually find prayer all that easy, and in fact, at times he even finds it boring!  Shock!  You know what though, I can empathise with him.

So, in a rare moment of quietness I reflected on how I really felt about my prayer life.  This reflective process left me in no doubt about my current experience of prayer ...

Flat.  Yes, that is it.  Flat.

A car with a flat tyre is an apt pictorial representation of how I feel about prayer right now.  The rest of the car is functioning well, but cannot perform effectively because the tyre is flat.

Recently I have felt as though I have just been plodding on in prayer.  Nothing new.  Nothing exciting.

Like a tyre with a slow puncture I have gradually become flat.  Am I alone here?

Prayer is my 'flat tyre'  - but yours may well be something else. It could be your bible reading,  your fitness, or perhaps your commitment to work or enthusiasm in relationships.  I guess we all have areas in our life that go flat from time to time.

Are we destined to live our lives in such a way?  Will our flat tyre continually impede our performance?  This, I believe,  is up to us.

I can see three obvious solutions to the 'flat tyre' problem.

Firstly - we could pump the tyre up.

Simple.  Well, simple this may be but it still requires effort.  If I want my current experience of prayer to change, it's unlikely to just happen.  I need to put time and effort in.  I need to push through the barriers (boredom, lack of time etc) and commit to seeing things change.

Secondly - we could locate and fix the puncture.

We might find that simply pumping the tyre up has no lasting impact.  There might be an issue we need to fix first.  In my example of prayer, this could include cutting my facebook hours down so I have more time to pray.  Whatever the nature of our 'flat tyre',  a slight lifestyle adjustment may be necessary in order for the tyre to remain inflated. 

Thirdly - we may need to give up and fit a new tyre completely!!

Let's face it - some tyres just aren't worth fixing.  They may have been fixed so many times before that they are never really going to perform efficiently.  We may need to remove the old tyre and discard it completely.  We can then fit a new tyre and full performance can commence :)  I may need to put aside my old struggles with prayer and start something new and find a new way of praying.   There is something incredibly refreshing about turning over and starting a fresh page. 

If like me, you have a 'flat tyre' - can I encourage you to do something about it.  Don't accept  performance under your true ability.  Don't put up with mediocre.   You, and those around you, deserve more!

Prayer may be flat for me at the moment - but I am going to do all I can to fix it!  Feel free to challenge me on this and make sure I am working on it :)

Jesus said - 'I come to give life, and life to the full' (John 10:10).  We cannot live this full life with Jesus if our tyre is flat!   I, for one, want to experience all that Jesus has for me.  Do you?


  1. Yup blub blub Sniff sniff Amen sister

  2. Am in heartfelt agreement,need to go back to start!


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